Here are a few of my favorite questions from the exam:
2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage?
8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information?
17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?.
28.Is this the first book in a planned trilogy?
36. Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names?
46. Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls?
47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?
63. Is your hero able to withstand multiple blows from the fantasy equivalent of a ten pound sledge but is still threatened by a small woman with a dagger?
70. Does your main villain punish insignificant mistakes with death?
74. Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings?
75. Read that question again and answer truthfully.I would add:
76. Is your first book basically a rip-off of Star Wars? *coughcoughEragoncough*Answering yes to any of the questions "results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once."
A little harsh, yes. I think a fantasy writer can get away with answering yes to one or two of these questions, but when you answer yes to more than seven (like Eragon. I say more than seven because after that I stopped counting) it's definitely time to rethink your story.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did evaluate one of my fantasy stories using this checklist. The only one I said yes to was number 71. And in my defense, my bard doesn't play the lute. He... well, actually, all he can do is sing. And be used as a decoy. Yeah.
How does your fantasy story measure up to the exam? Any favorite questions?